BY BENJAMIN TANDOH
THE CONCERNED Voters’ Movement (CVM), a pressure group, has expressed displeasure about the lack of transparency in the Ghana Police Service (GPS), especially in the Electronic Policing (e-Policing) Pilot Project.
The project, when implemented, would enable the Police Service to use electronic means to take complaints, write statements, verify fingerprints, and all activities by the service and is currently being piloted in 26 pilot police stations in Accra and Tema.
At a press conference in Accra, the Founder and President of the group, Mr Razak Kojo Poku, said, “We are fully aware that Vas-Intel, owned by Kojo Graham, together with his partners such as Stratom Inc., a USA-based company, and the Department of Computer Engineering of the School of Engineering Sciences of the University of Ghana, are (sic) the group doing the e-Policing project for the Ghana Police Service.”
“CVM is appealing to the Minister of Interior, National Security Minister, Procurement Minister and the Police Council of Ghana to intervene and cancel the pilot project being undertaken by Vas-Intel and Stratom for GPS,” he stated.
He proposed for an open market for interested parties to apply for the project, rather than privately contracting any firm.
“The Ghana Police Service erred in carrying out such a laudable initiative. This is because irrespective of being piloted or not, the Ghana Police Service should have open tender for all interested companies to partake in the piloting project at different police stations and at the end of piloting, at least the country can settle on the company with the best package. There was no advertisement inviting applications for such piloting.
“Ghanaians have been kept in the dark, we don’t know the nature of the contract to be awarded for the e-Policing, whether public-private partnership or privately managed. Ghana Police Service should tread consciously because this is the Security Data of the Nation we are talking about,” he said.
He continued that “the most important question CVM is asking the Ghana Police Service is, ‘will the Ghana Police Service award the contract to Vas-Intel owned by Kojo Graham and Stratom Inc after the successful completion of the Piloting at the 26 police stations in Accra and Tema? This is because there is nothing like free lunch in this world.”
He expressed the opinion that the partnership between the two bodies is likely to create an avenue for corruption, and stated that they suspect a conflict of interest.
Though he applauded the police for the intervention of going electronic, Mr Opoku stated that the procedure being used to award the contract should be properly outlined.
“We hope that the Minister of Interior, National Security Minister, Procurement Minister and the Police Council of Ghana would intervene and ensure that competitive bidding is open to all companies who are interested in such project to also undertake the piloting so that the country can have value for money,” he told the press.